Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Should My Boyfriend and I Move in with Other People?”

My boyfriend and I are in our late twenties, pretty poor and will be for some time due to loans and low-paying jobs we love. Currently, we each live in an apartment with roommates. Like many twenty-somethings, my experiences with roommates have ranged from okay to horrible, and I’ve been slowly saving up money to move into an apartment by myself, an exciting prospect even if I have to move a few towns away to find something cheap enough.

My boyfriend and I de facto live together now because my current roommate moved in, then promptly got a boyfriend and I haven’t seen her in months. He and I spend six nights a week together, cook and clean at my place, he has a key, etc. We’d like to live together, but he’s committed to moving into a big house with 3-4 other people. He wants me to come with him and there’s a lot of good reasons to go (including the house being nicer and in a better neighborhood than any place I could afford on my own), but I can’t shake the feeling that our first official living-together experience shouldn’t be with a bunch of strangers. However, I have no real concrete reason for believing this, and I know I could just be fixated on living alone because that’s been my goal. So I’m wondering, am I making a big deal out of nothing? Is this a common arrangement for other people? And are there other things you think should be on my mind before we make this decision? — An Unsure Roomie

Yes, there are a lot of things you should consider and questions you should ask yourself before moving in with a significant other, but one that should not be of any concern is: “Is this a common arrangement for other people?” You aren’t living other people’s lives; you’re living your own life. Don’t worry about what other people do or think. Worry about what’s best for you. If you feel uncomfortable having three or four other people living with you and your boyfriend, then that’s what you should focus on. Who cares whether other people would have an issue with that kind of situation or not? You aren’t other people. Other people aren’t living your life.

You are making a personal decision and the only factors you should consider are those that affect you, your boyfriend and your relationship. To that end, here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you reach a decision that is best for you:

1. If money were no object and you could afford to live anywhere you wanted, would you still want to live with your boyfriend?

2. If you knew that this was your only chance to ever live by yourself, would you want to spend a year or two on your own or immediately move in with your boyfriend?

3. Are you willing to sacrifice independence and personal space to live in a nicer neighborhood?

4. Are you willing to put your relationship in a potentially stressful situation to live in a nicer neighborhood?

5. Would you rather regret not moving in with your boyfriend sooner or moving in with your boyfriend too soon?

6. Do you and your boyfriend have to share a lease to enjoy the benefits of sharing space and spending time together?

7. What benefits would sharing a lease with your boyfriend grant you that you don’t have already?

8. What potential drawbacks would you face by sharing a lease — and space — with three or four other people?

9. What are your fears about living with your boyfriend in a house with other people?

10. What are the potential benefits for your relationship — not bank account — that you’ll have by living in a house with your boyfriend and several other people?

I would never recommend moving in with someone you can’t envision a future with because it’s a total bitch to break up with someone you live with. I’d also recommend that if you ever have a chance to live alone — to have a place you can call yours and yours only — you should take it. But this is your decision to make, of course, and you need to do what’s best for you. So take a look at those ten questions and see where you heart — and your head — lead you.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

75 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budj February 21, 2012, 9:12 am

    If you aren’t a flexible person do not do this. The more people…the more mess…and the harder to keep the place organized. If that is an issue for you I would recommend not doing it…otherwise….it’s a great way to live in a nicer place while still saving money. Just make sure you can carve out a place for you and your bf to be alone when you need it.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt February 21, 2012, 9:20 am

      THIS x1000. I’ve lived with 5 other people, 4 other people, 3 other people and 1 other person and can quite confidently say that more people=messier house and lack of accountability for maintenance/cleanliness/responsibility. I can also guarantee that arguments will spring up (probably about cleaning, chores, missing items, food stealing etc). that will inevitably force people to choose “sides”…..is the LW prepared to acknowledge that her BF might not be on her side?

      Not to mention that building a good relationship takes a certain degree of privacy and that’s almost impossible to achieve when you live with roommates.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 9:27 am

    Second Budj on this. In addition to Wendy’s great questions, really ask yourself how comfortable you are with the various facets of living with 3-4 other people you don’t know? How will you react if they’re slobs? Or if they leave dirty, crusty dishes in the sink?? (I LOATHE THIS). Will you be the only female living there? How might that affect (positively or negatively) the dynamic? Will you have to fight to watch reruns of Sex & The City on E? Does anyone have pets? How do you feel about living with strange pets? What about cooking? Will you all be fighting for the kitchen at the same time? Same with bathrooms and showers. How do you feel about possibly sharing a bathroom with multiple people? What are the other people’s social habits like? What are their work hours like? Are they going to be blaring music or the TV when you’re trying to sleep? Are they homebodies, partiers, etc?

    These are just some of the things that popped into my head, but that’s because those are some of the things I’d be asking myself, in your situation. Personally, I’d be wary about living with that many people (especially people I didn’t know very well), because just logistically, it becomes difficult for a group of people to live harmoniously at times. With fewer people, the odds that you’ll be able to get along peacefully increase.

    I’d recommend physically visiting all of your options and visualizing your life at each place, in addition to asking yourself all of the other pertinent questions. I think you likely have an ideal choice, and seeing everything in person might help to clarify what you truly want. No matter what, I wouldn’t rush to do anything out of financial convenience that might prove inconvenient in OTHER ways. Money is critical, of course, but so is having a healthy relationship and having personal space. Good luck!

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    • avatar

      Christy February 21, 2012, 10:23 am

      Wait, RR, you live in Northern VA, right? You coming to the meet up? I sorta want to chat about living situations in/near the District but if you’re coming up in person then we can chat on Friday.

      Because I too loathe crusty dishes.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary February 21, 2012, 10:49 am

        Um…can I join in on this living situation thing too. I would like to move into the district or NOVA because I live in MD right now. I’m super clean, my only fault is that I have a small, energetic dog.

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        kerrycontrary February 21, 2012, 10:51 am

        sooo lets all talk on Saturday? yayyyy

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      • avatar

        cdubs February 23, 2012, 7:07 pm

        I am trying to move to Dupont in May and I am super excited. Crystal City is boring!

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 9:38 am

    In your late twenties, wouldn’t you rather live on your own or live with an SO. I’m 28, and the last thing I want in my apartment is a roommate. A girlfriend, sure, but not someone who pays me rent and contributes to the mess.

    I always thought once you hit a certain age, roommates are just frowned upon. I never had a roommate, but my friends did, and they all said it was fun while it lasted; however, it’s much better living by yourself.

    I’d try and live with your boyfriend or live alone. Those are the only two options that would even be viable to me.

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 21, 2012, 9:43 am

      I was kind of thinking the same thing. Then I read Wendy’s response and decided to give the situation the benefit of the doubt. I’m also fiercely independent, so that’s why I thought I shouldn’t say anything about this aspect of it.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 9:51 am

        That’s been a pet peeve for me in the last six months. Used to never be a problem, but it kind of is now. I’ve always been romantically involved with women that lived on their own, even when I was still living at home with my Mom.

        The last few months, I went on some dates with women that had roommates, and I absolutely hated it. Even just going over to their place to watch a movie was tough. We’d be making out on the couch and here would enter the roommate to go smoke or get a glass of milk. It just dawned on me that at a certain age, I would want both of us to have our own privacy, if feasibly possible. Maybe I’m just too independent and like my alone time, but it’s something about having to question what your roommate is doing all the time when you are wanting to plan a romantic evening.

        It’s almost to the point to where if you aren’t living on your own, it is a dealbreaker for me. I know how important it is to women for their potential dates to have their own place as well.

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 21, 2012, 10:14 am

        Oddly enough, as much as I enjoy living on my own, it’s not a deal breaker for me, per so. I think it depends on the roommate situation. I’m more concerned that if I do ever find the one, how I’ll live with him. I’ll just have to make sure it’s someone with his own social life or activities so I occasionally get the place to myself. Weekend ski trip with the boys you say? Go for it!

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 11:13 am

        I think there’s a difference between, I’m having this roommate stay with me till I finish school and I don’t like living alone. I dated two girls who were the later. Both had roommates and had no desire of changing the living situation. It’s that much more pressure for them to always come to your house and invade your personal space, and you can’t go over there and do the same to them, because their roommate is at home. I just got tired of dealing with the roommate situation as a whole. Sorry, but I don’t want to come over and hang out in your bedroom, because your roommate is watching shows they DVR’d.

        Even when I lived at home, two relationships I was in became really rocky, because I didn’t have my own personal space. It sucked then, but ever since the shoe has been on the other foot, I can see their point. You come to my house, dirty my dishes, eat my food, sleep in my bed, watch my tv, use my electricity, but I can’t come do that at your house. It inevitably caused problems and it put a lot of pressure on me, since I couldn’t change my living situation at the time. Not making much money and going to college made things very difficult.

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia February 21, 2012, 10:11 am

      I think depending on your situation and economy there’s no shame in having roommates at a later age. There are a lot of guys who live out in Silicon Valley who live in big mansions together. Also, if one has just graduated from grad school/medschool and hasn’t gotten their career started or can’t afford to pay rent that’s okay.

      Besides, How I Met Your Mother? Scrubs? Friends? These were all adults— who lived like adults, not fratboys— who had roommates. I don’t see that it’s “frowned upon” to have roommates at a later age, as long as you *conduct* yourselves like adults.

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        MsBorgia February 21, 2012, 10:12 am

        Also for the record I HATE living with people.

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        Francine February 21, 2012, 10:17 am

        I agree that if having roommates is what you need/want to do then go for it.

        But there’s no shame in being poor either. As long as you have enough to pay your bills and satisfy your most basic needs you’re a financial success in my book. I personally would be much happier with my own place and no extra cash at the end of the month than living with a group that size and having a few extra dollars in my pocket.

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      • avatar

        Eagle Eye February 21, 2012, 10:25 am

        Yeah, I mean in all honesty, I’ll probably never get the chance to live alone because I live in an expensive area and whether my friends are in grad school (like me) or just at the beginning of their careers (we’re all around 24-29) so no one can afford to live on their own – so people either live with roommates or they move in with their SOs, I can actually only think of one friend off of the top of my head who has her own space.

        Its just not feasible any other way.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow February 21, 2012, 10:54 am

      It’s a major turn-off for me when grown men have roommates. My boyfriend has had roommates for the entire time I’ve known him and it bothers me. I just think it’s weird. I haven’t had roommates since I was 21 and in college (although I did, for a time, live with a boyfriend). I guess I’m biased because I just can’t imagine the appeal of it, ESPECIALLY when you’re financially capable of supporting yourself. I’m with the rest of you that would rather have my own space and less spending money than to put up with the hassle of a roommate.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 11:16 am

        You echo my feelings CatsMeow. It just gets to a point where you need to figure out how to do it on your own. Even if it means working two jobs or living in a not so nice apartment or house. I think the living alone is a cop out for most people. It’s really not that bad if you are willing to open your space and have friends come over.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 11:16 am

        Sorry, the idea of not liking to live alone is a cop out.

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    • avatar

      Anna February 22, 2012, 4:18 am

      I totally agree. I’ve always felt that way though; that’s why I never lived in a dorm room in college. I lived at home for my first 2 years of college and then got my first apartment with my boyfriend. It really sucks if you are hanging out with your SO at a place where you can never have privacy. We dealt with that for the entire first year of our relationship, as we both lived at home and had stay-at-home moms who NEVER. WENT. AWAY. If we wanted privacy, we drove my Jeep to the back of a field and hung out in the backseat. I can only imagine it would be 100x worse if it is not even family members who are always in the way but random roommates. At least family members are usually considerate and parents and usually not slobs. lol

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 21, 2012, 9:40 am

    I echo what others are saying. What if you wanted to make a romantic dinner, but either 1 – your roommates never leave, or 2 – they’re out of th way but leave a sink full of disgusting dishes? Sorry, that’s what keeps going through my head, but I love cooking and food.

    Also, I’m honestly curious as to why your boyfriend wants to live with a group of people. Is it money? Is it the social aspect? If it’s the social aspect, there is a good compromise that worked well for some of my friends. A guy I was seeing owned a house. One of our closest couple friends got engaged and wanted to own a house too. He bought a house a block from my psuedo boyfriend. They could easily walk back and forth and play video games (or whatever) until all hours of the night, but when alone time was needed, they had that too. They could go back to their own house! I know you’re not looking to buy, but the same could be said for apartments. Anyway, just a thought.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt February 21, 2012, 9:50 am

      Ah, the roommate that never leaves….I had one of those! We shared the basement of a house and I was in an LDR.

      Good luck getting your sexytime on when your roommate that NEVER LEAVES is next door in her room. Or worse, her parents are staying for the weekend.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle February 21, 2012, 9:44 am

    I love all the questions Wendy gave you to ask yourself. It seems like, from your letter, you’re focusing more on what you think you SHOULD feel about this potential situation. The line that stood out to me was: “..I know I could just be fixated on living alone because that’s been my goal.” If it’s your GOAL, then you should treat it as such, instead of thinking of it as a pesky feeling that’s standing in your way of doing something that you don’t even seem to want to do.

    The reality is that the living situation your boyfriend is offering you is interfering with what you say is your goal.. so my advice would be to focus your thoughts on that, rather than how that sort of arrangement might be okay “for now” with your money situation.

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    • avatar

      FancyPants February 21, 2012, 2:07 pm

      Right on Fabelle – and just to add to that point, LW, you have your whole life to live with your boyfriend. You might not have the opportunity to live alone again.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay February 21, 2012, 9:48 am

    I’ve never done it, but living with your boyfriend and a bunch of other people seems unpleasant. I imagine it feels a lot like everyone else is encroaching on your life. I assume he’ll be on a year lease, so you guys could easily regroup in a year and see what you want to do.

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  • avatar

    bethany February 21, 2012, 9:50 am

    I agree with Wendy- Really think about your answers to those questions and that will lead you to the right decision for you.

    A bit of personal advice- I went from a bad roommate situation to living alone for about a year and a half before I moved in with my (now)husband. That year and a half was an amazing time in my life, and I’m so glad I had the chance to live alone. I only wish I’d moved out on my own sooner. I think living alone is something everyone should experience.

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    • avatar

      MissDre February 21, 2012, 10:01 am

      I must be an extreme minority. I lived alone for a year and I hated it. I was so bored and lonely! But then again, I’m majorly a homebody. I don’t like going out so I didn’t have an active social life to keep me occupied. But my room mate experiences were also absolutely horrific and I will NEVER live with a room mate again. Ugh!

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 21, 2012, 10:07 am

        I think that’s an important point MissDre. If you’re living alone and single, you have to make sure you get out of the house and do things. Once in a while, I get a little lonely, but that never lasts more than an evening.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 11:00 am

        I actually have a system that works well. I work the typical 8-5 work schedule M-F. I’m officially in the corporate world, so my work and personal life is very scheduled. I always try and cook on Monday, Wednesday, and pick two between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I usually have friends that can come over and chill with me during the week a day or two. Then, on the weekends is when I go out and I’ll go hang out with them and catch up with my family.

        I get lonely at times just like anyone else does, but like ktfran said, it’s only for an evening. Once I go to bed and wake up the next morning, it’s a new day and I feel much better. I just have the things that keep me occupied during the week. For instance, I got home at 5pm yesterday, and by the time I did laundry, cooked, and washed dishes, it was 7:30pm. I watched an hour of “Masters of Horror” and then a buddy came over to game for a couple hours. Next thing I know it’s 11pm and it’s time for me to go to bed.

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        kerrycontrary February 21, 2012, 11:12 am

        I’m the same way. I live alone, but I don’t get home until 6:30 so by the time I walk the dog, cook/eat dinner/do dishes, its 8 or 8:30. Then I watch tv for a little bit, talk to my bf on the phone (we are in an LDR), then its time for bed! My weekends are when I actually get free time and socialize with people. I don’t get lonely too often.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow February 21, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Yeah, I have a “routine” as well that some might consider to be boring, but it works for me. I have a boyfriend now so we see each other pretty often, but I was single for quite a while before that and didn’t really ever suffer from loneliness or boredom. I usually run errands after work, then get home, do stuff around the house (cook, clean, laundry, etc.), eat, read, watch TV and go to bed. I also go to belly dance and other exercise classes after work during the week so that keeps me busy as well. And when I get home, I usually just want to RELAX and UNWIND and lay in my PJs on the couch and watch whatever I want, and a roommate would not be conducive to that.

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        savannah February 21, 2012, 10:14 am

        I also hated living alone! I like my own space but for a year I lived in an apt building in a city I had just been there for 6 months prior and it was a disaster. I was pretty unhappy even though I had a pretty large group of friends and did go out socially. I just hated cooking for 1 person and eating out, Bangkok has great street food, but it was sad eating by myself a lot even though I did go out with people often. I became very restless just sitting in my apt, which was a studio which did not help at all. Moving out and getting 2 roommates was the best thing I did when I lived over there.

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        GatorGirl February 21, 2012, 11:13 am

        I have never in my life wanted to live alone. I hate the thought of being by my self all the time. I had roommates in college, after college then moved into my parents house for 3 years. In August I technically moved into my own place alone…but my BF was there every night so it doesn’t really count. We moved in together in January…and I’m never going to have my own place again. I just could not handle it.

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        MissDre February 21, 2012, 11:42 am

        Yeah. I have a boyfriend and he was over probably 3 to 4 days a week when I had my own place. But the moment he walked out the door I was so lonely! And my place was on the ground level so I always had my blinds down because I was afraid of people looking in. And any little noise would freak me out and make me think a killer was coming to get me. And if I did go out I would feel so guilty for leaving my pets all alone because they are huge babies. And I couldn’t afford TV. And I hated cooking for just one person so I just didn’t eat…. I dunno. Living by myself made me very lonely and depressed. It’s just not for me.

        So I moved back home with my mom. Not because I’m poor or because I’m dependent (I lived with room mates for 4 years and I even moved away and lived in another city 4 hours away for grad school). I just really like my mom and her company. She’s my best friend! I don’t care who judges me for living at home at 26. It’s a personal choice I made and I’m a lot happier this way. And yes I pay rent and utilities and I buy my own groceries.

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        honeybeenicki February 21, 2012, 11:49 am

        My husband and I were living in a crappy apartment in a not so great neighborhood 3 years ago and my mom’s coworker was moving to a different state and wanted to rent out her house, so my husband and I moved into the house and took over the bottom floor while my mom took over the top floor. We share a kitchen and mom is usually in the living room downstairs with us when we watch TV, but we rent the house 50/50 and pay utilities, groceries, etc. I feel the same way – I love my mom and her company and she is definitely my best friend. We are going to close on a duplex next month and we’ll be neighbors (more privacy than living in the same house, but still close enough to make us happy). 🙂

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl February 21, 2012, 6:38 pm

        I always think someone is coming to get me when I’m home alone! And keep the blinds closed because we live on the first floor! I lived at home with my parents from 22 to 25 and loved it. There is no shame in liking your family!

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  • avatar

    SGMcG February 21, 2012, 9:56 am

    Around my 3rd year of marriage, my husband and I decided to let our good friend from NY live with us as he transitioned into living in SC. He didn’t have a job lead, but he had money in the bank and we had room to spare. There were people who questioned our intentions and asked if “all activities” of our marriage were shared with our friend. If you have any doubts of living with your boyfriend AND roommates because it goes against what is the “norm” in relationship development, screw that. What is important is your desire of what you want to do and the practical logistics of executing it successfully.

    In many ways having our friend live with us was a good thing – it helped my husband and I evaluate our marriage, our living style, our communication methods, our finances and what needed to be changed. Our friend also benefitted from having absolutely few contacts in this state to having a hearty welcome from my husband and I’s circle of friends and some financial footing to grow off of. There were moments where two or three of us had fights, but they only stemmed from genuine concern from one another. I can say my husband and I are better because of him living there, and we were happy and sad to see him settle down and move into his own space.

    Yet our situation worked with our roommate because all of us recognized that the situation was temporary and the ideal eventually is that my husband and I would live together and develop our relationship accordingly. Your boyfriend may be asking you to live with him now to save money, but did you ask yourself first if you wanted to continue the relationship path you guys seem to be forming? I think, along with the talk regarding living arrangments, you guys need to also have THE TALK – just so if you know the two of you are operating off the same goals.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl February 21, 2012, 9:58 am

    Just because yoru BF commited to a living arrangement doesn’t mean he can’t get out of it. Have you tried to find another person to take over his portion of the lease? Asked the other people if they know someone who would take over his room? Asked the landlord if they do roommate placements?

    Personally, I would never move into a large house with multiple roommates with my BF. It is a challenege to share living spaces with one other person…let alone 4 or 5 other people. There will be no privacy…I’m guessing your intimacy will be affected. There will be stress dealing with shared living spaces, who loads the dish washer? Who buys the dish soap?? I’m 27 and the last thing I want is a roommate.

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  • avatar

    Francine February 21, 2012, 10:03 am

    If living with your boyfriend and 3 or 4 other people is something you’d rather not do then just don’t do it. He committed to it. That’s his thing but it doesn’t need to be yours too. You don’t need to justify your decision either or over think it. That living arrangement doesn’t interest you. Period. You shouldn’t feel bad about being fixated on your own goal just because you’re part of a couple. This isn’t just about an arrangement. It’s about your home. You should be completely comfortable with whatever decision you make.

    And the reasons to go ahead with this arrangement seem too weak to trump your feeling that it’s not what you want. So the house looks nicer and is in a nicer neighborhood than what you can afford on your own. Unless you’ll have to live in an unsafe place on your own it doesn’t matter. How nice it is shouldn’t be determined solely by the structure or visual appeal of the surroundings.

    Plus, I think it’s very possible that your boyfriend will be relieved that you have a place of your own that he can escape to once the reality of so many people under one roof hits him.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh February 21, 2012, 10:04 am

    I love living with my husband and I’m glad that I moved in with him when I did. But, I had the chance to live on my own. I’m also a self proclaimed neat freak and living with roommates (and sometimes my husband ;)) drove me up the wall. I also enjoy having my own bathroom. Something I”m not sure you’re going to have in a house with 3 to 4 bathrooms. The last time I shared a bathroom I was a senior in college and I still remember how much I disliked it.

    If you are able to I would go and look at the house and see what your space would be like. If it’s still not feeling right I would move out on your own. Or is there an option of finding a suitable replacement for him in the house? It’s an option you could try and bring up with the roommates, if you decide it’s what you really want. If not I mean by having your own place your bf will be able to escape the house and you two will have a quiet place to hang out. While you will still get the chance to live alone.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger February 21, 2012, 10:05 am

    I was going to say, I feel like it’s a little old/almost immature to live with 4 or 5 roommates at almost 30 years old. But then again, as Wendy said, it’s your life and your own situation.
    Personally though, I’d rather live alone than with 4 other people, especially if I don’t know the people. It wouldn’t be worth it to me to deal with all the annoyances of having that many roommates.

    Have you asked your boyfriend WHY he’s so dead set on living with other people? If it’s just about the money, why hasn’t he considered living with you only? If you guys aren’t at a point in your relationship where you’re planning on having a long enough future together, then saving money isn’t a great or very smart reason to move in together.

    Basically, if you don’t really WANT to live with your boyfriend and 4 other people, you shouldn’t. It’s better to wish you’d moved in together sooner, than to regret moving in together too soon.

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  • Budj

    Budj February 21, 2012, 10:19 am

    All this roommate talk just made me realize that I live a lot cleaner when I live by myself and my urge to live alone is increasing linearly with my expendable income. Urge to keep the place clean totally plummets now that I live with a few people…my brother’s gf was an unexpected addition and she pretty much filled all of the storage spots up so keeping things tidy has been a pain…how many women like to keep 20 feet of clothing stacked on a rack that almost never get worn? Think a closet that spans an entire room…. Is that commonplace?

    If it weren’t for this place having a basement for band practices I think we all would have found more agreeable living situations, but that is kind of forcing us to stick it out where we are.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle February 21, 2012, 10:27 am

      I have an entire room filled with clothes that I barely wear– like, there’s big piles all over the floors, & both the dresser and closet are filled. And this is in addition to the dresser and closet in my ACTUAL room, which are also filled to capacity with clothes.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 21, 2012, 10:29 am

        Oh – she took over both of my brother’s dressers too…

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        Eagle Eye February 21, 2012, 10:33 am

        Yeah, in our old place (before we built this wonderfully massive closet) I had like 2.5 dressers and he had…1/2 of one…

        yeah…

        needless to say, I’m not really supposed to buy clothes anymore…

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle February 21, 2012, 12:14 pm

        Yeah, I keep telling myself that I’m NOT ALLOWED TO SHOP until I get rid of some of my clothes. That…has not been working out so far.

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        Francine February 21, 2012, 10:36 am

        You know, you don’t have to have a dozen cats and live in a dump to be considered a hoarder. 😉 Just sayin’. Off now to sort my extensive collection of Tupperware that has taken over an entire basement storage room! (Someday I WILL have a use for every single plastic container I have)

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    • landygirl

      landygirl February 21, 2012, 10:39 am

      Ha, my husband has a lot more clothes than I do!

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki February 21, 2012, 11:42 am

        My husband is the same way. He also has far more shoes than I do. I have 2 pairs of skate shoes (one at home, one at work), 1 pair of “businessy” dress shoes, 1 pair of “dressy” dress shoes and a pair of sandals and a pair of boots. He has at least 10 pairs of tennis shoes alone. Not to mention his boots, dress shoes, sandals, etc.

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      • Lyra

        L February 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

        Haha, my boyfriend also has a TON of clothes. I’m pretty sure I still have more than he does, but he just keeps buying them (he works at a clothing store). Just the other day he called me up and told me that he had just spent $200 on clothes…again. That’s money that he could have spent on…oh I don’t know…food perhaps?

        Unrelated but similar topic: ladies, how do you feel if/when your significant other buys clothes for you? My boyfriend told me that he’s going to buy me a shirt today that he thought would look cute on me. Now, I’m flattered that he thought of me, but I haven’t even seen a picture of it yet and I’ve never bought clothes from the store where he works so I’m not sure if it will fit right. It’s not that I don’t trust him to pick something out for me, I’m just incredibly anal when it comes to picking out my clothes. 🙂

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl February 21, 2012, 11:09 am

      I have a ton of clothes I wear maybe once a year. Exspecially dress up clothes. Or shorts. I hardly ever wear shorts.

      Or winter clothes now that I live in FL. But I just can’t get rid of them.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 21, 2012, 12:27 pm

      I am a clutter-hater. Several times a year I go through my wardrobe and get rid of anything I don’t wear/old/out of style, etc. I donate it, and I’ve never once regretted giving a piece away that I thought I *might* wear. Then again, I live in a 500 sq fot Manhattan apartment, so if I don’t get rid of things and limit the amount of junk coming in I’d be living in a Hoarders situation. As it is I’m always itching to donate things/throw things in the garbage. The number one thing that drives me crazy about living with my boyfriend is how much paper he brings into our home- he always grabs fliers, coupons, menus, newspapers, etc., then leaves them all over every surface. He NEVER notices when I throw them out. When we lived just outside the city he used to leave them in my car- which also drove me nuts. Haha. I should have known!

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  • avatar

    Muffy February 21, 2012, 10:40 am

    If you don’t want to live with roommates then don’t. If your boyfriend REALLY wanted to live alone with you right now he would try and get out of his commitment (either by looking for a replacement etc..). Don’t force living together if it’s not the right time. You will end up regretting the situation.

    I personally would never move in with roommates let alone my boyfriend and roommates-and I’m only 23. I lived with roommmates in undergrad and no more.

    This living situation has romance-killer written all over it.

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    • avatar

      june February 21, 2012, 12:03 pm

      “This living situation has romance-killer written all over it. ”

      Agreed. I feel like her having her own space for them to hang out away from the 4 or 5 randos would be soooooo much nicer. LW, you’re so lucky to have the option to live alone; take it! There is not much chance you’ll regret living alone, especially since you’ve been looking forward to it. And there are about a million things that could go wrong living with your bf and 5 others.

      I lived with my bf and 3 others in a beach house during college, and every time we had sex, the house would shake (it was on stilts). We had very quiet, gentle sex for a year. OK not really, but we tried, and it was a mood killer and just a super awkward situation. Haha ugh I don’t even want to think about it. Half the time it was–sorry no sexy time, somebody’s home (someone was ALWAYS home).

      I feel like this would be the only reason I would need (out of the millions I would have) to live alone when dating someone. Unfortch, I couldn’t afford it. Yay for you! You can!!

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am February 21, 2012, 12:07 pm

        When your living situation effs up naughty time, it’s time for some things to change!

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    • Leroy

      Leroy February 21, 2012, 2:43 pm

      I agree. Roommates are a huge X factor, and even the best are going to be an inconvenience for a couple. Plus the presence of other people in your home undermines the dynamic that you’ll want to establish with a romantic partner – it really is a romance-killer.

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  • avatar

    TheGirl February 21, 2012, 10:48 am

    DO NOT move into a house with a bunch of strangers. I’m sorry, but this is just a recipe for disaster.

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    • avatar

      TheGirl February 21, 2012, 10:49 am

      And that’s regardless of the whole boyfriend situation. Seriously, just DON’T.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie February 21, 2012, 11:02 am

    When my wife and I first got together she was a part owner of a 3 bedroom house. It was sometimes difficult before I moved in and lots more so after. We didn’t want to inflame the friendship with the other couple so we took off every weekend to stay on my boat. It was stressful for all of us but we managed for a year until they sold the house. The friendship survived but we dam sure wouldn’t do that again. The issue of living together is traumatic enough on it’s own. Sharing living space with others will add to it so I don’t recommend it. On the other hand if you don’t have to sign a lease you would have the option of moving out. Get everybody to sign an agreement covering all the contingencies.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 11:10 am

      Eddie! You had me nervous this morning. There was an article on AOL’s homepage about some guy named Fast Eddie living a double life.

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      • fast eddie

        fast eddie February 21, 2012, 8:43 pm

        It couldn’t be me on that, don’t have time to do all I want already. Was he interesting?

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  • avatar

    Bossy Italian Wife February 21, 2012, 11:03 am

    My husband and I lived with other people for the first 5 years of our relationship. I moved in with him and two others at first and then we got a larger farmhouse and we lived with 4 other people–for a total of 6 people in the house. I consider these years my proverbial college years. It was a constant party, people coming and going, a lot of flexibility required… other people labeling their food so it wouldn’t get eaten, etc. This was from the ages of 18-23 years old for me, 24-29 for my husband.

    Was it fun? Absolutely. Were we happy when it ended? Hell yes!

    All that being said, this world is a different world than it was 8 years ago when I had roommates. The economy is different, the job market is totally different, etc. Maybe it would be better for you to have a place where you guys can make a haven. Maybe it’s smarter to buy into a communal living situation where you will have less financial stress. This is really the choice you are making and you have to decide what works best FOR YOU.

    Personally, as a person in my late 20’s, I wouldn’t live for free with other people. It would be so difficult!

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  • avatar

    *HmC* February 21, 2012, 11:29 am

    LW, you say that you “have no real concrete reason for believing” that you want to live alone with your boyfriend when and if you decide to move with him. But it sounds like you did give concrete reasons- you’ve made it your goal to live on your own, and you don’t want to live with a “bunch of strangers”. That sounds concrete to me. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, don’t do it. The right roommates can be a godsend as far as saving you money and providing fun company. But the wrong ones can be an absolute nightmare, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to strike out on your own if you can afford it. Just because your boyfriend offered you this option doesn’t mean you have to scrap your plans. Explain to him how you feel, and don’t apologize for it. It all sounds reasonable to me.

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  • avatar

    Wendy (not Wendy) February 21, 2012, 11:37 am

    Well, I think it sounds like a good idea if you want to do it. Usually I agree with the “don’t worry about what other people think/do” idea, but in this case, it sounds to me like the LW has some fixed possibly bourgeois ideas that she is aware of and is possibly interested in exploring.

    There is NOTHING wrong with people at any age living with roommates. The idea that each couple must have their own home is something that is taken for granted in our present society, but it is not necessarily tenable, especially with the economy the way it is, with the rapidly growing population. You don’t have to look very far back even in American history to find that it has not always been the standard for young couples to immediately start their own households.

    This, to me, falls into the same category as the idea that grown-ups own houses, they don’t rent–which is also silly.

    Sure, the roommate situation could be bad. Check it out thoroughly. But you could have a very nice place to live and save money. If you and your boyfriend save money by living in a house with others for a year or two, you could save up for a down payment on a house or condo, if that happens to be something you’re interested in, and eventually be on much better footing than you would have been if you spent all your savings to live in an apartment alone that is not as nice anyway.

    What is the situation in this house, if it already exists? How much privacy is there? You might find that you have as much privacy there as you would in an apartment building, but have the advantage of knowing your neighbors. Sharing a kitchen can be hard, but right now I’m reading and hearing all the time about how people are looking to become more involved in community–dinner clubs, for instance, where one night each week a member of the group cooks dinner for everyone, which means everyone else gets a night off cooking. My co-workers would kill to have such an arrangement.

    I think my main point is: living with roommates, even for the “de facto” first time you live together (you’re basically doing it already, right, alone?), is neither bad nor good in and of itself. It IS perfectly normal. It IS a “common arrangement”. So if those are the things that are holding you back–that it seems odd or different compared to expectations–let that go and live your own life.

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    • Budj

      Budj February 21, 2012, 11:45 am

      In my situation we do split up cooking a lot. I am “the griller” / prep the meat unless my bros. gf has some specific way she wants to do it. I don’t mind doing it year round…and grilling outside in the cold makes it seem like I’m doing more, haha. Splitting up the responsibilities kind of makes it a fun social event when life isn’t too busy…which it has been lately…. I just wish we could figure out a way to make the dishes fun…

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    • avatar

      *HmC* February 21, 2012, 11:56 am

      Ah, I love your comment! And I agree, there is nothing wrong with having roommates, at any age. I’m 31 and live in a big beautiful house with three roommates, and they’re all great people and I love it! I’ve never really connected with the shame of not living “alone” starting at 18- actually my most educated and accomplished friends were the ones who weren’t afraid to move home to do grad school/save for a house. In many other countries, and throughout time, living with family and others made the most sense in terms of maximizing resources. And in many instances, it still does!

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster February 21, 2012, 12:03 pm

    It may just be my personal issue, but #4 was huge for me when my boyfriend and I moved in together. When we were apartment hunting he wanted to lower the cost by getting a friend to rent with us. I was vehemently against this. There’s something about other people, especially the particular friend we were considering, overhearing any disagreements my boyfriend and I have that sets my teeth on edge. I’m very private in that respect- probably because my parents’ messy divorce was traumatizingly public (They freaking subpoenaed my friends parents, teachers, scout leaders, etc. It was like Jerry Springer.). I believe in keeping our issues behind closed doors, and if I need advice, I have trusted people in my life with whom I will consult. And a damn good therapist.

    After all that stink I made, a mutual friend of ours did move in with us temporarily and I hated every minute of it, but that was due to her taking advantage and drinking too much. I actually wrote to Wendy about it! Who advised me to boot her immediately- which I did, and miraculously still was able to keep the friendship. I wish I’d stuck to my guns on not having anyone live with us to begin with, but I naively thought that because she and I had lived together well before, and because it was temporary, that it would work itself out. Unsurprisingly it did not. Wendy’s list is an excellent way to navigate the more confusing parts of this situation. Be honest with yourself, LW! Your home should be your respite, a place where you recharge, not a place of stress.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger February 21, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I have done this and I do NOT recommend it!!!!

    I was relatively nomadic for about a year of my life when I met my boyfriend. He lived in a gigantic apartment (by new york standards) with three roommates. There was a living room and a small dining room, and each individual room was huge (550 sq per room?). One kitchen, one bathroom. I de facto lived with him for 4 months and actually lived with him for 2. I absolutely hated it.

    First off, I hated not being able to pee whenever I had to. You have to wait for someone else to finish showering or shaving, or whatever they are doing and you’re dying. And if you are living with your BF, then you are having sex. And need to pee after sex. And really shouldn’t wait until the roommates decide they are done bathing. And to go pee, you have to put on a robe or clothes. And they always know when you are having sex and running to the bathroom. That’s not a huge thing, but if you are a “private person”, your robe and hair and urgency will give you away.

    Second, the kitchen. If you are imagining nice nights of cooking duck a l’orange with your hunny, ooccassionally having candles and romantic music because it is your home, think again. You can’t really make anything complicated because you can’t take up the space for that long; it isn’t fair. And it depends what kind of relationship everyone has with each other, but my BF and his roommates weren’t friends; they were roommates. And not especially social. So we ate in his room, usually on the bed or on the futon, watching TV.

    Third, guests. Are you going to care if one of their GF’s effectively move in, and start trying to do all the things you guys can barely do (see kitchen, peeing, supra). Are you going to feel comfortable with your mother sleeping in the living room when she comes to visit? Are you going to feel comfortable when one of the roommate’s brother loses his job and sleeps on the living room couch for a month? If you are a go-with-the-flow person with go-with-the-flow family, ok. If not, this will mean that everytime someone comes to stay with you, YOU and your BF get to sleep in the living room. So I hope you don’t like guests. Are you going to feel comfortable having people over? Throwing parties? Are his roommates going to throw parties a lot and have THEIR friends over all the time?

    Alone time: Are you and your BF going to have one room or two? If its one room, are you ok with having no option to be totally alone without exiling your boyfriend from the bedroom? In a place where only the couple lives together, if you are in the bedroom and he is in the living room, you both get alone time and can do your own thing. Not so much with the roommates everywhere.

    These are just some of the many reasons why living with your BF and other roommates is not an ideal choice for some people .I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little high maintainance and a bit of a misantrope. So for people who really are “the more the merrier” most of the time, it probably can work fine. But it didn’t for me. And you should ask yourself if these issues would bother you too.

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  • avatar

    oldie February 21, 2012, 3:11 pm

    No, you shouldn’t move in with the other people. You seem very concerned about doing so. You are happy in your current arrangement. If your bf made a different arrangement without consulting you, that shows a significant level of disrespect and certainly doesn’t require you to go along with it. Your goal is to have your own place. You should not give that up. Sharing a bigger place in a better neighborhood does not equate to an upgrade in living arrangements.

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  • avatar

    CattyGoLightly February 21, 2012, 5:21 pm

    I think it honestly depends. I agree with oldie that your boyfriend didn’t seem to include you in his living arrangement plans, so you shouldn’t have to change everything you want for him; however, I would still go and look at the place he wants to live, and meet the people who will be living there as well. My ex lived in a duplex-ish house, where there were two kitchens, and there was actually a lot of privacy. It all depends on the house and who lives there!

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  • liz

    liz February 21, 2012, 8:03 pm

    I don’t mean to come in here to rain on your parade, but yes I agree with Wendy the focus here should be “do I want to live with my boyfriend?” I also “de facto” lived with my now-ex for a couple years, and I figured us getting our own place would be pretty similar. Definitely was not. It was a huge deal for me to finally find a place with him, sign a lease, spend months decorating and getting situated. And then we broke up. Obviously we had some issues a long time coming, but let me just say, moving out of an apartment and neighborhood you’ve called your own (and in my case, back to my parents) makes me rethink whether I’d ever live with my current boyfriend or any man for that case again, pre-marriage. So..think this through. I’m sure it works great for some couples! You just gotta decide whether you guys fit into that boat. Don’t do it for the convenience or to save money.

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  • avatar

    Anna February 22, 2012, 4:27 am

    LW, that situation sounds like absolute hell and I wouldn’t agree to it. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t ever want to live with strangers. In order for me to call a place “home” it has to feel like home, meaning I am comfortable there. If I lived in a house full of strangers, I would feel like I was at a socially awkward house party that just won’t end. It might just be my (unofficial) Social Anxiety Disorder talking but that sounds awful.

    Living together will change your relationship with your boyfriend. In my case, it changed our relationship for the better when we moved out of our parents’ houses and got our own place. But I think the added stress of additional roommates would put a strain on the relationship. I would recommend asking your boyfriend if he would rather live with you or with them…unless he has already signed a lease he can still back out of the house and you two can look for a love nest together.

    One more thing!! If you and your boyfriend do “officially” move in together and you are intending for that arrangement to someday lead to marriage, PLEASE have the marriage talk before you move in together. By agreeing to be his live-in girlfriend, you are essentially agreeing to be his unofficial wife. If a man has an unofficial wife, I have learned, he does not want a REAL wife. I made that mistake, and I’ve been an unofficial wife for 8 years now. I wish I hadn’t been so damn stupid when I was 20.

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  • avatar

    wendyblueeyes February 22, 2012, 8:24 am

    When in doubt, don’t. Also, you don’t know these people, but if your boyfriend moves in with them, you will be over there a lot, so you’ll get to know them. That is when you can make an informed decision on whether the living arrangement with them would be compatible. Get a short term lease, or month-to-month lease on your own, and then you will be able to compare living setups. Nothing worse than moving in with strangers and finding out you don’t like them.

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  • avatar

    Nadine February 22, 2012, 8:42 am

    Eh, if you dont want to, dont. But this may be a culture thing because almost NOONE I Know lives without flatmates, and most of my friends are couples. we all either moved in with strangers who became friends, strangers who kept their distance, or moved in with a friend or two. I am looking forward to living with just my boyfriend at some point in the future, but I’d rather have money to have fun than spend everything on a flat where I can walk around naked at all times (although thats fun too…..)
    For me, moving in with my Boyfriend wasnt a big thought out thing, as I was there all the time, and there was room, and I was pretty much the last of my friends left at home (none of which are very adult reasons to move in together!) but it has worked out well, and we are in it for the long haul now. However, it does mean that moving into our own place together with no flatties will be a BIG step.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am February 22, 2012, 9:50 am

    I even tried to be a friends roommate when I was 25 and no one wanted to do it. Enjoy your independence LW and live by yourself, even if your boyfriend wants to live in a pseudo frat house.

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